5x6 (5x6) wrote in linguaphiles,

A simple question for native speakers

...especially for those involved in business correspondence.

I came across the following on a Russian-language blog. The discussion was about salutations and endings in English-language correspondence (both e-mail and snail-mail). A poster offered a piece of advice for the beginners, I quote:

"Just memorize a simple rule, and you will never need anything else:
Dear Mr. ...... Sincerely
Hello/Hi ...... Best regards/Regards"

In the ensuing discussion the poster insisted that while this pattern is not exclusive, most of English-language correspondence roughly obeys his rule. What is your opinion? Do you feel that 'Dear Mr.' requires 'Sincerely' or a variation thereof and a 'Hello/Hi' calls for 'Best regards' or 'Regards'?

Update: Let me be more specific. That a letter starting with a "Hi" cannot end with "Sincerely" is obvious. The question is whether (a) "Sincerely" is the best possible complement for "Dear Mr./Ms." and (b) whether "Best regards" is sufficiently informal when combined with a "Hi" or other, less formal endings fit a "Hi" more naturally. For me "Best regards" carries some connotation of added respect that does not sit well with a "Hi", but it may be just me.

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